Running Scared (2006) starring Paul Walker, Cameron Bright, Vera Farmiga, Chazz Palminteri, Karel Roden, Johnny Messner, Ivana Milicevic directed by Wayne Kramer Movie Review

Running Scared (2006)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Paul Walker in Running Scared (2006)

Running Fast & Furious

When a drug deal goes really bad Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker - Into the Blue) is ordered by his boss to dispose of all the weapons, except Joey decides to keep one hidden in his basement as an insurance policy. That gun ends up being taken by the kid next door, Oleg Yugorsky (Cameron Bright), who is tired of the abuse he gets from his father and shoots him. Now Joey has a problem as not only does he need to get the gun back but also the bullet and shell casing before the cops get their hands on them.

Creatively over the top is how I would go about describing "Running Scared" because it is seriously over the top, but seriously enjoyable for being so. It is a non stop fast and furious thrilling rollercoaster ride of a movie, lush with style, action, drama and even sex which seems to somehow turn the dial up in every scene to the point that you can't believe it could get anymore creative and wild.

Cameron Bright in Running Scared (2006)

To explain I need to reveal some things starting with the drug deal goes bad, it is a cacophony of gun play; a foot to the floor shoot out with people diving everywhere as bullets whiz through the air and into wood work and walls. It is over the top but then that is followed by an over the top scene of Joey going home to his wife played by Vera Farmiga and going down on her on the washing machine. But then shortly after that we get the scene which focuses on Oleg and his abusive father who is angry because as a fan of John Wayne's "The Searchers" only learned that the Duke dies in the movie when he came to America and saw the full version. This covers maybe the first 15 to 20 minutes and ever scene is more over the top than the previous one.

But do you know what, being ridiculously over the top is what makes "Running Scared" a fantastic movie, a thrilling movie rather than a thriller. You get drawn in to the creative way a scene will link to the next and eager to see how the next scene will play out, how crazy it can get. And it is because of writer and director Wayne Kramer that you do as it is his creativity, his visual styling and elaborate story which joyfully goes off on what seem like tangents which is the heart of the movie.

"Running Scared" also benefits from the right cast with Paul Walker ideally chosen in the lead role of the hero, although it seems a stretch at times to say he is a hero as all he is trying to do is cover his own back. Walker has the right look and he brings energy to the part which is the same through out be it Vera Farmiga as his sexy wife or Chazz Palminteri as a dirty cop investigating the case.

What this all boils down to is that "Running Scared" is a 122 minutes of thrilling, over the top creativity which constantly turns up the dial on the action, the style and the imagination to the point that it doesn't matter that it is ridiculous as it entertains.